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Old 01-10-2013, 05:51 PM   #1
kingofmalkier
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Default Just want to talk about my first brewing experience!

I hope this is the appropriate forum for this, but I've already talked my coworkers' and SWMBO's ears off and I figured it would be impossible to talk too much about brewing here.

I learned a lot about how to make the brew process more difficult for myself when I started on the 6'th. Boil appeared to go pretty well, but I hadn't planned well enough for the cooling/transferring piece; I was too focused on the boil. Mainly it took forever to cool and I didn't really aerate at all. I don't think either problem will be too severe (RDWHAH) but I can certainly do better next time.

I refused to get worried when 24 hours had passed and I basically just had a big jar of brown water. Thankfully the next morning I got this:

Just Getting Started by king0fmalkier, on Flickr

I was so relieved to see anything happening, working with the theory that even slow progress would allow me to be patient and wait for the yeast to work. With no progress I was starting to think maybe I needed to do something - thankfully I just kept waiting.

Things kept going and I awoke this morning to find this:


Krausen by king0fmalkier, on Flickr

I'm assuming there will be at least some effect from the slow start, but I wouldn't be surprised if I don't notice it at all. I enjoy all kinds of beers, but I don't think I can say "this is at least 17 IBUs below proper IPA standards." I can say "Why the bananas?" so hopefully it doesn't come to that.

Lastly, I'm fortunate enough that SWMBO supports this hobby (she brewed with her father as a kid) and so I was allowed to purchase these beautiful little babies.


New Corny 2.5G Kegs by king0fmalkier, on Flickr

I can't wait to fill 'em up. I think I'm going to try force carbing one and conditioning the other with sugar to see if one method works better/tastes better.

PS: The first time I heard a bubble *pop* out of the blowoff tube, I reacted exactly the same as my sister-in-law feeling her baby kick for the first time. Anyone else have that happen?



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Old 01-10-2013, 05:55 PM   #2
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You know it! Honestly, how many time did you stick your nose in that water to get a nice whiff of each bubble?

Looks like a success on your first try.



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Old 01-10-2013, 06:04 PM   #3
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So, what did you brew, what yeast, pitch/ambient temp?

Rick

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Old 01-10-2013, 06:05 PM   #4
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congrats - welcome to the obsession!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kingofmalkier View Post
I'm assuming there will be at least some effect from the slow start, but I wouldn't be surprised if I don't notice it at all.
what was your OG, how much yeast did you pitch, and if it was liquid yeast did you make a starter?

a long lag time like that is usually indicative a long reproductive phase. when you pitch yeast, the first thing the cells do is divide until they have a sufficient population to tackle the job at hand (at least they'll try to create a sufficient population, sometimes they can't and your beer won't fully attenuate). if you pitch a lot of yeast (over-pitch), little reproduction is required and fermentation will take off quickly. if you under-pitch the yeast fermentation will be delayed. most yeast flavors are created during the lag/reproductive phase, hence slightly under-pitching is a way of promoting more yeast flavors. it's useful for belgians where you want a lot of yeast characteristics, not so great for IPAs when you want to keep it clean. so an impact on your beer might be that you have additional yeast flavors. hopefully you're keeping that beer in a good temperature range, so those flavors are nice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kingofmalkier View Post
PS: The first time I heard a bubble *pop* out of the blowoff tube, I reacted exactly the same as my sister-in-law feeling her baby kick for the first time. Anyone else have that happen?
every single one of us, buddy.
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingofmalkier View Post
I hope this is the appropriate forum for this, but I've already talked my coworkers' and SWMBO's ears off and I figured it would be impossible to talk too much about brewing here.

I learned a lot about how to make the brew process more difficult for myself when I started on the 6'th. Boil appeared to go pretty well, but I hadn't planned well enough for the cooling/transferring piece; I was too focused on the boil. Mainly it took forever to cool and I didn't really aerate at all. I don't think either problem will be too severe (RDWHAH) but I can certainly do better next time.

I refused to get worried when 24 hours had passed and I basically just had a big jar of brown water. Thankfully the next morning I got this:

Just Getting Started by king0fmalkier, on Flickr

I was so relieved to see anything happening, working with the theory that even slow progress would allow me to be patient and wait for the yeast to work. With no progress I was starting to think maybe I needed to do something - thankfully I just kept waiting.

Things kept going and I awoke this morning to find this:


Krausen by king0fmalkier, on Flickr

I'm assuming there will be at least some effect from the slow start, but I wouldn't be surprised if I don't notice it at all. I enjoy all kinds of beers, but I don't think I can say "this is at least 17 IBUs below proper IPA standards." I can say "Why the bananas?" so hopefully it doesn't come to that.

Lastly, I'm fortunate enough that SWMBO supports this hobby (she brewed with her father as a kid) and so I was allowed to purchase these beautiful little babies.


New Corny 2.5G Kegs by king0fmalkier, on Flickr

I can't wait to fill 'em up. I think I'm going to try force carbing one and conditioning the other with sugar to see if one method works better/tastes better.

PS: The first time I heard a bubble *pop* out of the blowoff tube, I reacted exactly the same as my sister-in-law feeling her baby kick for the first time. Anyone else have that happen?
Looks tasty! I'm also about to brew my first batch and look forward to it!

BTW, when you woke up the second morning to find your yest going crazy, was it the same feeling that you experienced as a child on Christmas morning?
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:16 PM   #6
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What yeast did you pitch and what's the ambient temp? I would ask what kind of brew you made, but its been asked a couple times already.

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Old 01-10-2013, 06:36 PM   #7
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Wow! Lots of replies.

I pitched "YEAST: 1 Sachet". :P I used the Brewer's Best IPA kit that was a christmas gift. I suspect it will be a little on the dark side of "P", but I know it will be lighter than it looks now. I'm afraid I don't remember the type of yeast that came in the kit, although I can say for certain it was a dry yeast. I simply pitched it straight onto the top. It looks like a lot of people rehydrate and/or do starters, but on my first attempt if I had a choice between "Works best" and "Works alright but is super easy" I chose the latter. Pitching temperature was 80F, which I recognize is a bit high, but it was 11:30PM on a Sunday and I felt very uncomfortable leaving wort in the dangerous temperature zone overnight. So for better or worse I decided pitching a little high was the safer option and employed high levels of RDWHAH. (I will use *very* different techniques next time for cooling. Most importantly cooling 2.5 gallons in a metal kettle instead of 5 gallons in a glass carboy.)

Ambient temperature has held steadily at 64F. I think this is pretty solid but am open to suggestions.

About OG... I got fairly flustered and attempted to take an OG by auto-siphoning a sample into the hydrometer vial. That part worked okay (have a beer thief now) but I didn't mix properly and so I got mostly water. The hydrometer bounced off the bottom! I'm going to assume I got the kit OG of 1.063 because I have no other number to go with.

I have not tried smelling the CO2 bubble yet, but now I'm definitely going to have to. Also, yes the huge amount of bubbles in the morning felt rather christmas-y.

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Old 01-10-2013, 06:44 PM   #8
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I think its cool your swmbo helped her dad brew beer as a kid. I have a 13 year old son who hates to clean the house, but will spend all day brewing in the back yard with me.

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Old 01-10-2013, 06:47 PM   #9
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I just realized that when people asked about the recipe, they probably wanted more than the style. So, from the kit instructions:

Fermentables
-------------
6.6 lb Light LME
1 lb Golden DME

Specialty Grains
---------------
1 lb Caramel 40L
8 oz Victory

(Steeping was pretty cool. Like a giant cup of delicious smelling tea.)

Hops
-----
1 oz Columbus Flavoring
1 oz Cascade Bittering
2 oz Cascade Aroma

Yeast
------
1 Sachet (not sure why they're so vague on that one ingredient)


OG: 1.061 - 1.065 (sure, don't see why not. You can prove nothing!)
FG: 1.014 - 1.017

Related to the SG numbers: how often and/or how many times to folks typically test this? I'm battling the desire to check every day to chart progress and the desire to never check until I use two readings in a couple weeks to verify completion of fermentation. I know I should be comfortable taking a reading, but it feels like a potential time to mess things up and so I've put it off thus far.

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Old 01-10-2013, 06:52 PM   #10
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Great job on the first batch! Make sure you post back on the thread about how it tastes. Im happy to say I've been brewing for 5yrs and still get very excited about an active carboy!

A little advice; take detailed notes and try to only change one variable at a time. I wish i took better notes in the beginning.



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